The 13th of May, 2016. That’s the date I published my first ever post here on Patheos Pagan. And today is the 13th of May (Aus time), which means… It’s my first year blogiversary here at Patheos. Woohoo! So, prepare yourself for the blog version of a clip show.
Most Popular Posts (so far)
Looking at my top posts from the past year they mostly seem to be of two types – ones about Hekate and ones that are a bit contentious in nature. Tauri Princess – The Human Origins of Hekate is at number two for the most viewed posts of the last year, and no wonder – it’s a great post that really delves into that myth about Hekate as a human princess. I love that post. But at the very top of my view list is the Basic Intro to Hekate, from my 30 Days of Hekate series. Which I find a little annoying, to be honest, since it is so basic – why couldn’t people be enjoying the festivals of Hekate or misconceptions about Hekate more than the basic intro? Sigh.
Among the contentious ones, Pagan Misconceptions and Why I Hate Them is at number three in analytics – where I rant about the misconceptions Pagans have about Paganism. After that we see a high number of views for things like Pagans Really are an Entitled Bunch and Undoing the Hard Work of Pagan Pioneers.
The fact that the contentious posts have high views is both a good thing and bad thing in my opinion. On the one hand, it’s great to get the discussions on such things going, it’s necessary for fixing any problems we have within our communities. But it’s also a sad indictment of our communities that we thrive so much on the dramatic posts that, even when no names are mentioned, are basically slinging mud at certain people within our communities. So, yeh, good and bad.
My Favourite Posts
I can’t give a least to most favourite list of my posts, I find that impossible when it comes to my own writing. But I can mention the ones that have stuck in my mind, that I enjoyed writing or researching. It is perhaps obvious that my favourites are every single one about Hekate, so I actually cannot list all of them – there are so many. Tauri Princess and Goddess of the Underworld, both recent posts, are definitely at the top of the list though. A post that is only kind of related to Hekate, through it being based on the Covenant of Hekate, is also a favourite – the one about the virtue of temperance.
I have done several posts about ritual forms in Hellenism as well as several about animal sacrifice and offerings, and these ones are also among my favourites. The ritual ones aren’t terribly exciting or anything, but I enjoy the ritual forms in Hellenism and enjoy writing about them, helping people learn about them. The animal sacrifice posts though are a bit more, trying to banish the misconceptions about animal sacrifice has somehow become important to me.
A couple other favourites – Embracing the Evil Witch, where I discuss why I love the evil witch stereotype. The Monotheist God View, a post about the way we automatically see things from a monotheistic viewpoint. What Will History Know of Us, a post that discusses what we are leaving behind for future generations.
Lessons I’ve LearnedFind one or a few focus subjects, but don’t get tied down by them. I have 4 main focal points for this blog – Hekate, Hellenism, Aussie Paganism and, to a lesser degree, Pagan Parenting. If you look through my posts you will see these particular subjects pop up a lot. I feel it’s important to have a focus, not to limit myself but to give me something to go to when I am feeling a bit lost for topics to write about. But yeh, it’s important to not be limited by these focal points and to be sure to branch out into other subjects. I even branch into subjects that don’t really matter to me personally, such as the eight sabbats. I don’t celebrate these for the most part, but I do write about them sometimes, because I think some of my readers (especially parents and/or Aussies) want to read about these things.
Create rules and stick to them as much as possible. For me this comes down to things I, now, choose to not write about. Generally, this is my religiousy blog so I feel it’s important to keep to religious subjects and not stray too much. More specifically though I have decided that I will now steer clear of things like politics except where it directly relates to Paganism and the related religions (for example witchcraft laws). I am not against the mix of politics and religion, but for me, it’s not really relevant to my blog. Similarly I have chosen to leave out homeschooling except where it relates to Paganism directly.
Create a backlog of posts, just in case you can’t do any writing for a period of time, like when your laptop breaks down and you don’t have access to one for several weeks. Yes, this is why I haven’t posted for a while, and yes, that does mean I haven’t followed this particular lesson. Though it’s not from lack of trying, I just haven’t been able to maintain a backlog of posts. I build them up, and then I get lazy and use them up when I shouldn’t.
Not What I Expected
Blogging here at Patheos is not really what I expected. Though to be honest, I don’t know that I was really expecting anything specifically, it’s more that there are things that have surprised me. The biggest thing, I think, is that I didn’t realise how often I would doubt myself. Blogging in general you can have moments where you wonder, should I post this? Should I set myself up for possible attack, or embarrassment? But being here on Patheos, my view numbers went up a whole lot – being on a platform with a large readership means that I am under a lot more scrutiny than ever before. And that means I am doubting whether I should post things a whole lot more than ever before as well.
This is difficult to deal with sometimes, trying to find the right balance between satisfying my desires as a writer, and satisfying the desires of my target audiences. Sometimes I err on the side of caution, sometimes I throw all caution to the wind. Sometimes I sit on a post for weeks, or more, before I can be brave enough to actually publish it.
But it’s all worth it. I love writing here at Patheos – I love writing in general, and being at Patheos has given me accountability and made me write more frequently than I used to (barring the few brief hiatuses because of life getting in the way). It is also making me read more, read more Pagan and related blogs and books. It’s making me interact with others more online, on a more long term basis than a random Facebook conversation gives you. It’s also helping me to enhance my religious practices a bit more, for multiple reasons and in various ways.
So, my first year at Patheos has been fun, has taught me things and has shown me some unexpected things. Here’s to another, even better year ahead!